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We’ve turned 4!

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests behind the cover versions controls…

Today’s mix is from fellow blogger and musical aggregator La Dimension De Trastos. LDDT reminds me of what I like best about Southern Californian beach culture. A junction where tastes in funk, soul, jazz, psych, surf, punk, reggae and garage rock meet and mingle freely giving rise to (for better or worse) the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Paul’s Boutique, and many a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Not that LDDT houses any of them mind you, but any given day you can be treated to such disparate selections from the The Sonics to Sister Nancy, Circle Jerks to Coxsonne Dodd and from Black Randy to Bill Withers to Bud Shank. Get the picture? All of this is then tied together with a little bow of witty commentary and jumping off points to find them. When I wake up and need inspiration for Versions, LDDT is my sugary breakfast cereal.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Lee Perry – Jungle Lion (Al Green’s Love & Happiness)
While not a straight forward cover, this is about as close as the Upsetter gets.

Lulu – Feelin’ Alright (Traffic)
Surprisingly funky, she definitely had her eye on Dusty in Memphis.

Ricky Nelson – Summertime (George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess)
Interesting in that it predates the Yardbirds by several years. Chicken or egg?

Tommy McCook – Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey)
No shortage of early reggae/ska covers of Bond themes. McCook was a sax player for the Skatalites, and the go-to guy for Duke Reid anong others.

Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents – Shake Some Action (Flamin’ Groovies)
Nice try to duplicate the Motown sound. What’s it missing? The Funk Brothers. What the hell, an “A” for effort.

The Pioneers – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (Temptations)
As long as we’re on a Motown tangent, what if Norman Whitfield was Jamaican?

The Supremes – Come Together (The Beatles)
Proof that Isaac Hayes wasn’t the only one who stretched out on covers.

Horace Andy – Where Do the Children Play (Cat Stevens)
Classic Studio One. From Horace Andy’s first, a stone cold classic of the golden age.

Eli “Paperboy” Reed & the True Loves – Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
If someone would have told me about this one, I wouldn’t have believed it. Believe it. Instant cred for the kid.

Ricardo Ray – Sookie Sookie (Don Covay)
A song that’s been covered 14 million times. This one won out over Steppenwolf’s surprisingly good rock meets soul take.

Solomon Burke – Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan)
Seriously, he could sing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and you’d think he wrote it.

Marcia Griffiths – Band of Gold (Freda Payne)
Before singing back up for Marley as one of the I-Threes. Sweet.

Celia Cruz – Yo Vivire (I Will Survive) (Gloria Gaynor)
You can’t hear this one without seeing Celia Cruz’s big ass smile. Azúcar!

Sharon Jones & the DapKings – Just Dropped In to See What Condition Your Condition Was In (Kenny Rogers & the First Edition)
An unlikely cover for anyone, but it works. Jerry Lee Lewis once said that he, Al Jolson, Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers were the only true song stylists. Someone needs to clue him into the Daptone mob.

Richie Knight & the Mid-Knights – Homework (Otis Rush)
Famously covered by the J.Geils Band, this sucker just sounds so creepy.

Jack O’ Fire – Branded (Link Wray)
The first time I heard this I had to pull over to find out who it was. From the amazing stable of Sympathy For The Record Industry.

Black Randy & the Metro Squad – Give It Up Or Turn It Loose (James Brown)
One thing that usually gets ignored when talking about the early L.A. punk scene is how varied and musically educated the bands were. Often seen as something of a court jester, Black Randy’s baddass back up band turned more than a few Krazy Kolored spike heads onto JB via this happening jam.

Kashmere Stage Band – Take Five (Dave Brubeck)
High School kids. Yes. And they beat out the Skatalites version.

The Viscounts – Harlem Nocturne (Earl Bostic)
I had to end with this one. Back in the day, a older friend told me that bands at his high school dances would always play this as their last song, enabling couples to get chummy without any worries about getting kicked out of the dance. So it was that I, along with other DJ friends at a popular watering hole, took it upon ourselves to end our last sets of the night with it. Prelude to grab ass.

More than anything else, these songs represent years as a serial lurker of music blogs. As someone who DJ’d before computers were commonplace, and before just about any song could be found in just a matter of clicks, I don’t take this shit for granted. I’m hugely indebted to the ersatz network of music blogs that I loiter around. Do yourself a favor, check out blogrolls when you see them. There’s gold in them thar links.

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…

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